California & the West

Why buy next season's ski pass right now? Spring skiing and riding

This year's ski season at a number of resorts is far from over -- thanks to recent and big El Niño-fueled dumps in the Sierra and the Rockies.

Skiers and snowboarders already looking ahead to next winter may want to grab a season pass and score some spring skiing too.

Many of the passes pay for themselves in less than a week’s worth of daily lift tickets. Here's the lineup:

The Cali4nia Pass goes on sale Monday. It offers season-long access to the California resorts Mammoth MountainSnow Summit, Bear Mountain and June Mountain. The early bird price is $749 for adults until April 5.

Skiers and riders don’t have to wait until next season to use it, however.

Those who buy the pass can use it starting Monday at Bear Mountain and Snow Summit (if they have snow, of course) and starting April 11 at Mammoth until the season's end. Pass holders qualify for other benefits too, including discounts at the resorts. Info: Cali4nia Pass

Vail Resorts’ Epic Pass -- good at 13 areas -- is already on sale for $809 through April 10.

This pass offers unlimited access to NorthstarKirkwood and Heavenly in California; Vail, Beaver Creek, BreckenridgeKeystone and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Perisher in Australia; Afton Alps in Minnesota, Mt. Brighton in Michigan and Wilmot Mountain in Wisconsin. 

At some of these areas, where a single day’s skiing can cost more than $150, the Epic Pass pays for itself in five days of skiing or riding. 

And if you’re willing to accept a few holiday restrictions, you can buy the pass for as little as $609.  Moreover, buying a pass in the spring unlocks what Vail Resorts calls Buddy Tickets, which give six friends or family members discounted single day lift tickets. Info: Epic Pass

At Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows in the Lake Tahoe area, schussers have until April 19 to buy discounted Tahoe Super Passes, which include free spring skiing and riding. 

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FOR THE RECORD

March 22, 10 a.m.: An earlier version of this article said Tahoe Super Passes were on sale until April 1. They are on sale until April 19.
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The Bronze level pass starts at $469 and pays for itself in four days. The Silver version starts at $589 and includes two lift tickets at both Sugar Bowl and Sierra-at-Tahoe.

The Gold pass starts at $829, pays for itself in six days and offers unlimited skiing and riding at Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, four days each at Sugar Bowl and Sierra-at-Tahoe, two free days of skiing in Zermatt, Switzerland, and unlimited half-off tickets at Mountain Collective resorts.

The Tahoe Super Pass College pass offers unlimited skiing and riding starting at $429. And the Tahoe Super Pass also includes discounted Friends & Family tickets, access to Dawn Patrol runs, discounts on dining, demo equipment, lessons and yoga. Info: Tahoe Super Passes

Also, Sierra-at-Tahoe resort offers a Keepin' It Real Unlimited Season Pass for the 2016-17 season for $309. It offers unlimited, unrestricted access to the mountain all season long. And you'll get free spring skiing too this year. Info: Sierra-at-Tahoe

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